Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Alphabet Jumps to June (M, N, O)

Another alphabet installment as June draws to a close....

is for Mahonia 'Soft Caress'

 One of my new favorite plants!!

I love this new soft variety of Mahonia for shady spots! 
I've added several to my garden this month.

*  *  *
is for Nesting

For several years now Mallard Ducks have nested in our front flower bed.


And this spring Mourning Doves nested in hanging baskets 
on our side porch and back porch

is for Orange

I do not use a lot of orange in my landscape,
but reseeding Cosmos adds a punch of color here and there in the garden.

The bees seem to enjoy it :-)

'Aztec Gold' Daylily
is a reblooming variety that adds another touch of orange

And the orange-tipped Mexican Butterfly Weed (Asclepias curassavica)
attracts orange Monarchs in the fall.

As the alphabet journey continues to July,
stay tuned for "P," deserving of a post all its own.

For previous garden alphabet posts, click the letters below:

Until next time...

Toni :-)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Alphabet Jumps to June (I-L)

I started my alphabet garden posts back in April, and somehow it is already June -- the last week of June!   What happened to May and the first three weeks of June?  
My, how time flies when you're having fun in the garden :-)

 So continuing on with the alphabet theme, here we go with the next installment...
is for Invasive

I am on a mission to eradicate invasive plants from my garden.

The latest on my hit list is Chinese Wild Ginger (Asarum splendens).
Apparently I did not do my research.   This plant starts out as a beautiful clump of foliage, and then once it firmly takes root, it proceeds to take over.  If you are looking for a beautiful evergreen groundcover, this might just be the ticket.   I decided to keep this plant, but I put it in a container so that it will stay...well....contained :-)


My definition of an invasive plant is one that has a root system that travels large distances and entangles within the root system of desirable plants and starts to gobble them up.  Another definition is a plant that reseeds so prolifically that it is next to impossible to keep it under control.

Other invasive plants that have have either gone by the wayside or are on their way out are:

Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis) -- gone
Tall Mexican Petunia (Ruellia brittonia) --  99.9% gone
Wood Violet (Viola papilionacea) -- work in progress
Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana) -- gone
Blue Mistflower (Eupatorium coelestinum) -- gone
Lyre Leaf Sage (Salvia lyrata) -- gone
Taro -- gone, except for contained in the pond
Dollar Weed (Hydrocotyle spp.)  -- help!!!

*  *  *

is for Jardiniere

Jardiniere is a French term meaning: "ornamental bowl, pot, or stand for flowers or plants."  Below are some of the container plantings I have on my back deck and side porch this summer.

 For other "Jardiniere" information and ideas, click here and here

*  *  *

is for Koi

Here are a couple recent additions to our Koi pond.

Also visiting our pond this month....

And a couple water lily blooms are just icing on the cake...

is for Lime Green

'Lime Mound' Spiraea

'Peedee Ingot' Liriope

'Orange Dream'
Japanese Maple

Another Spiraea...
called 'Mellow Yellow'

Creeping Jenny
or Golden Moneywort

To visit the previous alphabet posts,
click the links below...


And the alphabet continues...

Toni :-) 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Nature's Art Gallery

Art gallery?  Who needs it?  Look up at the swirling silver-lined clouds in the magnificent blue sky or at the silently blazing stars at midnight.  How could indoor art be any more masterfully created than God's museum of nature?
  ~Grey Livingston

Visit SkyWatch Friday  

Hoping God paints a beautiful sky for you...

Toni :-)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Flatstone Path?

To get her photo on Shadow Shot Sunday, of course!

*  *  *

Click here to visit Shadow Shot Sunday

Happy Sunday!

Toni :-)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fabulous Foliage - June 2011

Got shade?

As the mercury rises ushering in the first days of summer, I appreciate my shade gardens all the more.  Here are some pictures of some of the fabulous foliage in my shady backyard.

I feel cooler already, don't you?   :-)

 This is a picture of one section of the shade garden expansion project I've been working on over the past couple years... in one form or fashion.   

Hosta 'Francee' is a new addition to the backyard shade garden.

I know I've said we can't grow hostas in Texas, but the ones with heavily "corrugated" leaves that stand up a little taller do seem to do a little better than some.   

It's worth a try!

And another new Hosta called 
 'Gold Standard'
I'll keep the slug bait handy and hope for the best.

I couldn't resist this Heuchera (Coral Bells) when I saw it at the nursery.

It's called 'Southern Comfort'

The variegated Solomon's Seal survived the transplant to the new garden this spring.   This is such a graceful looking plant.

The variegated Cast Iron (Aspidistra elatior) has finally put on new growth after being cut to the ground in February.  It suffered severe freeze damage this past winter.

Caladiums are hard to beat for a shady container planting.

Shown here are:
  • Red Flash
  • Carolyn Whorton
  • White Queen 

Who needs blooms with leaves like this!'s not just for shade anymore!

'King Humbert' and 'Tropicanna'  Cannas love the sun

Variegeted Tapicoa  (Manihot esculenta) 
can handle blistering, burning sun all day long!

Again, with foliage like this, who needs blooms!

Fernleaf Tansy adds a bright splash of chartreuse color to a container or in the garden...

and it smells good too.

Here's some great container combo foliage:

Perilla Magilla
'Ace of Spades' Sweet Potato Vine

I also added pink Pentas and Blue Daze to this combo, but this is a foliage post, so you'll have to go to yesterday's bloom post to see the flowers :-)

Visit Pam at Digging to see other fabulous foliage the world around.

Until next time...

Toni :-)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What's Bloomin' - June 2011

The mild temperatures and early blooms of spring have gone by the wayside, but as the temps approach triple digits, a whole new set of flowers have stepped up for bloom duty.  

Here's a look at what's blooming in my garden this month.

The crape myrtles are in full bloom.

Containers are filled with...
  • Variegated Tapioca
  • Pink Pentas
  • Blue Daze

Summer Phlox (Phlox paniculata) and peach daylilies make a colorful and reliable combination.

Rose of Sharon  
(Hibiscus syriacus)

Texas Star Hibiscus  
(Hibiscus coccineus)

'King Humbert' Canna

Purple Coneflower

Summer Phlox

Pink Skullcap 
(Scutellaria suffrutescens)

 (Wedelia hispida) 

Zexmenia is one of my favorite plants.  It is a Texas native that blooms all summer long and just laughs at heat and drought.

'Carmine' Gerber Daisy 
(Garden Gerbera)  

This is a new addition to my garden.  This new variety of gerber daisy got rave reviews from the Dallas Arboretum in their trial gardens.

I just had to give it a try!

The front beds are full of color this month

  • Shasta Daisies
  • Summer Phlox
  • Cosmos
  • Salvia greggii
  • Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm'

More blooms in the front beds:

Russian Sage
Purple Coneflower
Summer Phlox
Mealycup Sage
Salvia Greggii
Shasta Daisy

Endless Summer Hydrangea 

This is a section of the new shade bed expansion in the backyard.  I'll post "before & after" pictures later to show you the transformation.

I know this looks more like a foliage picture, but my Bear's Breeches is actually blooming for the very first time.

Here's a closeup of the bloom stalk.

These peach daylilies area a pass-along plant from a friend of mine.

I don't know what variety they are, but I love them combined with the Russian Sage.

Finally, just a shot of some of my containers filled with...

Blue Daze
Pink Pentas
Perilla Magilla
Fern Leaf Tansy

Click here for other container ideas

I hope you enjoyed this month's tour of blooms in my garden.

Visit May Dreams Gardens to see what's bloomin' 
around the world.

Happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!

Toni :-)